Staff, 3:11 am
Ethiopia says physical work on a massive $4 billion cooperative natural gas project between Ethiopia, Djibouti, and China will soon be launched. The announcement was made Thursday by Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom at the opening of the 4th Ethiopia-Djibouti Joint Ministerial Committee Meeting in the capital, Addis Ababa. The project is made up of a natural gas pipeline, a liquefaction plant, and an export terminal at Damerjog, Djibouti.
Staff, 3:00 am
The International Monetary Fund may not approve Ghana’s fourth tranche of the 3-year bailout program if the Bank of Ghana Bill is not passed. Sources close to the board say the executive panel in charge of Ghana’s bailout program has taken a tough position in ensuring that the Bank of Ghana does not exceed its budgetary support to government.
Staff, 2:47 am
South Africa platinum producer Lonmin PLC has announced a partnership with Russian nuclear power giant Rusatom to develop a pilot small hydropower project beginning next month. Announced during Power-Gen Africa this week, the US$40 million, 2 MW plant will reportedly use equipment manufactured by Hungary’s Ganz Engineering & Energy Production Machinery, with South Africa’s Blue World Power Systems acting as distributor.
Staff, 2:32 am
The vast wetlands of the Niger Delta region are home to Nigeria’s vast oil resources, but are once again at the centre of a security crisis. The militants or the “boys” are back in the creeks, destroying pipelines, attacking oil installations, and kidnapping workers. The violence has slashed Nigeria’s oil production by a third. Now with the payments drying up, many fighters with a grievance and a gun feel they have little to lose.
Karen Elowitt, 7:00 pm
Though it’s been wracked by civil war for years, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire) is slowly coming back to a place of stability and peace (as of early 2014), with the help of UN peacekeepers and other efforts. This is great news for travelers, because there is so much to see and do in this vast, mostly undiscovered nation in the heart of Africa. Intrepid travelers can explore the rugged rainforest, see active volcanoes, track endangered gorillas, and marvel at the rich diversity of flora and fauna.
Dana Sanchez, 3:39 pm
WhatsApp says it has no immediate plans to make money in Africa. WeChat plans to sell services in Africa. Can WeChat beat WhatsApp by doing the opposite? Facebook-owned WhatsApp offers free text messaging in Africa and promises to keep the platform ad-free. WeChat is betting on selling services in Africa as a way to loosen the Silicon Valley grip. It has a lot of experience selling services to lower income users in China. “We knew that we were late to the market so we realized that focusing on chat services was not the most practical way to get to market,” WeChat Africa head Brett Loubser says.
Dana Sanchez, 1:03 pm
Facebook has successfully tested its solar-powered Aquila drone, part of a fleet that will eventually provide Internet access to parts of sub-Saharan Africa if all goes according to plan. The Aquila drone is massive, foreboding and terrifying, according to one source. It has a 140-foot wingspan, but weighs less than 1,000 pounds. It consumes energy equivalent to three hairdryers, but uses laser technology 10 times faster than any previous system, and it can accurately connect with a point the size of a dime from more than 10 miles away.
Dana Sanchez, 10:27 am
Nigerians should ignore the warning that the country’s economy is vulnerable to global shocks, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun told the Senate. “I don’t think we should panic every time the International Monetary Fund speaks,” Adeosun said. “We need to be confident.” The Nigerian economy will start to grow by the end of the third quarter, Nigerian officials say. “Much of our revenue will come in Q3. Most companies end their year in December. From September they will begin to pay their taxes.”
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